Israeli strike kills elderly woman in south Lebanon: State media

AFP , Thursday 21 Dec 2023

Israeli strikes killed a woman in her eighties in a south Lebanon village on Thursday, Lebanese media and rescuers said, with Hezbollah retaliatory attacks wounding two civilians, according to Israel's military.

A picture shows a damaged room of a building hit during an Israeli bombardment in Lebanon s southern
A picture shows a damaged room of a building hit during an Israeli bombardment in Lebanon s southern village of Markaba near the border with Israel. AFP


The frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen regular exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hamas ally Hezbollah, since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, raising fears of a broader conflagration.

Lebanon's official National News Agency (NNA) said that Israeli "bombing on the town of Maroun al-Ras this morning killed a woman and wounded her husband".

Artillery shells struck "residential neighbourhoods" in the town, hitting the house of the couple in their eighties, the agency added.

Rescuers who transported the pair to hospital confirmed her death to AFP, also blaming Israel for the strike.

Earlier this week, the Iran-backed Hezbollah group vowed that any Israeli attacks on civilians "will be reciprocated".

The Shia Muslim movement said it struck the border villages of Dovev and Avivim "in response" to Thursday's deadly strike, later claiming several other attacks on additional Israeli targets including with drones.

The Israeli army said that "two Israeli civilians were lightly injured as a result of the launches toward the area of Dovev," adding that the military struck the source of the fire.

Overnight, Israel launched a rare deep strike into Lebanese territory, some 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the border, the NNA said.

Hezbollah also said it launched "incendiary rockets" on forested areas of northern Israel early Thursday in retaliation for Israeli assaults on Lebanese groves.


On the Lebanese side, more than 140 people have been killed since the cross-border strikes began in October, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including more than a dozen civilians, three of them journalists, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, four civilians and seven soldiers have been killed, according to officials.

According to updated figures from the International Organization for Migration, the hostilities have displaced more than 72,000 people in Lebanon, most of them in the country's south.

Thousands of civilians living along Israel's northern border with Lebanon have been evacuated by the army.

The Israeli war on Gaza began with the Palestinian Islamist group's Al-Aqsa Flood operation on Israel on October 7 which killed around 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Israel's retaliatory ground and air offensive has killed at least 20,000 people in Gaza, two-thirds of them women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

Despite holding sway over swathes of the country's south, Hezbollah has not had a visible military presence on Lebanon's southern border since the end of a 2006 war the group fought with Israel.

A United Nations Security Council Resolution that ended that war called for the removal of weapons in southern Lebanon from the hands of everyone except the Lebanese army and other state security forces.

On Monday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met with senior officials in Beirut, a day after visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank, as part of efforts to de-escalate border tensions.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Sunday said that ensuring the security of Israelis near the border meant pushing Hezbollah "north of the Litani River" in south Lebanon.

"There are two ways to do that: either by diplomacy or by force," Cohen said.

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